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The Tabernacle Times
November 2015                             Cheshvan - Kislev 5776                         Volume 10 Issue 11

Thanksgiving and Sukkot

Rabbi & Brenda
by Rabbi Jeremy
& Brenda Storch








Last month we celebrated the Jewish holiday of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). Many Americans, upon seeing a decorated sukkah for the first time, remark on how much the sukkah, and the holiday in general, reminds them of Thanksgiving. This may not be entirely coincidental.

I was taught that our American pilgrims, who originated the Thanksgiving holiday, borrowed the idea from Sukkot. The pilgrims were deeply religious people.

When they were trying to find a way to express their thanks for their survival and for the harvest, they looked to the Bible for an appropriate way of celebrating and found Sukkot. This is not the standard story taught in public schools today - but the Sukkot explanation of Thanksgiving fits better. The original Thanksgiving was a harvest festival (as is Sukkot), that it was observed in October (as Sukkot usually is), and that Pilgrims would not have celebrated a holiday that was not in the Bible.


High Holy Days

Research shows that the first Thanksgiving was "a harvest festival that included feasts, sporting events, and other activities," concepts very much in keeping with the Jewish religious observance of Sukkot.

The Pilgrims loved the Hebrew Bible and they knew its language well. It is no accident the early settlers called their Plymouth Colony "Little Israel,” and they even compared Governor William Bradford to Moses. They felt that they had fled lands of oppression and had found a new home, just as the Israelites had once fled Egyptian slavery and settled in the Holy Land.
               (Continued on Page 2)

Inside This Month's Issue:

Thanksgiving and Sukkot Torah Overview Tabernacle TV
• Home/Most Recent Videos |
• Teachings for Jew & Gentile|
• Shabbat Praise & Worship

• Torah Portions/Studies |
• Music Selections |
• Beit Midrash
• Ariel Yahudah Dancers |
• Plays and Drama
Kosher Korner Coming Events
Torah Portions Be One in a Million
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